Automated dialysis as a sample preparation tool in ion chromatography

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The analytical challenge treated in the present work consists in the determination of chloride, phosphate and sulfate in the presence of difficult sample matrices that interact with the stationary column phase or even render it unusable. Metrohm`s patented stopped-flow dialysis coupled to the new 881 Compact IC pro ion chromatograph overcomes these drawbacks. Two standard solutions covering the concentration ranges 1.0…3.6 mg/L and 10…36 mg/L as well as two samples, an ultra-high temperature (UHT) processed milk and a baby milk powder, were characterized in terms of analyte concentration, relative standard deviation, calibration quality, carryover and recovery rates. While the five-point calibration curves yielded correlation coefficients (R) better than 0.9999, carryover (between two subsequent injections of a concentrated sample and a blank) was less than 0.49%. Recoveries for the low (10…36 mg/L) and high standard concentrations (1.0…3.6 mg/L) were within 91…99% and 94…100%, respectively. Automated compact stopped-flow dialysis is a leading-edge sample preparation technique that ensures optimum separation performance by effectively protecting the column from detrimental matrix compounds.